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Old 02-21-2019, 12:38 PM   #1
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Garmin chart plotter, autopilot and radar problems

Went cruising earlier this week and ran into some problems. Had an issue with the autopilot heading not matching up with the Garmin 1040xs plotter gps heading, and after unsuccessfully trying to ďswingĒ the flux compass for an hour I finally was able to manually adjust the AP heading to the plotter GPS heading. I installed a fire extinguisher about 3 feet from the flux compass so maybe thatís what threw it off? I relocated the extinguisher and it seems to be holding now so maybe that was it.

Iíve been unable to figure out the radar problem so far. The plotter wonít recognize that I have radar (I have a Garmin radar that was installed when I got the plotter in 2014 and it has always worked fine). After randomly punching around on buttons on the plotter for about an hour (my normal diagnostic procedure ) I realized that the plotter WILL recognize the radar when the it is in ďsimulatorĒ mode, which seems to disable the GPS. So the radar works fine when the plotter is in this simulator mode, but then GPS doesnít work so thatís not acceptable.

Any ideas here? One person said maybe I need a software update? I have never updated the software. It does seem to be some sort of programming thing maybe and not a wiring issue. Or maybe there was a power surge or something that changed the programming? Just spitballing here since I donít know about these things.

Tried to get Garmin to help but couldnít get them on the phone while I was on the boat and then had to leave the boat and come back home, so just wondering if other Garmin owners had experienced such a thing.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:48 PM   #2
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I have a similar problem now; Garmin 5000-series chart plotter with Garmin radar. Radar stopped working... might have gotten a very brief error message but I donít remember... and now radar doesnít show up as an option on screen.
Talked to one of the marine tech guys and he said the most common cause is simply a loss of power to the radar. Next time I go out to boat i plan to go up to the radar mast and see if power is at the radar antenna, they typically have a power LED light at the base near where the cable enters the radome.
Sorry I donít have a complete answer for you but maybe we can compare notes...
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:09 PM   #3
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Garmin chart plotter, autopilot and radar problems

Iím trying to call Garmin tech support now and will post up if I ever get to a human!

Edit: Garmin human said same thing you didó see if LED on cable at base of radar dome is lit. If not may have a cabling issue. If it is lit then he said could swap to another port on back of plotter. He said there are two on my plotter I could use.

When I asked why the radar worked in the simulator mode, he said that wasnít a real radar pic from my radar I was seeing but just a stock simulation I was looking at! And now that I think about it, the image the radar showed didnít seem to match very well to my surroundings. The simulation mode is so people looking to buy a unit can play with it at the store.

Anyway, thatís what I found out, so next time at the boat I will check out the cabling and maybe swap to another port on the plotter. Problem is my boat is in Florida and Iím back in Texas now so it will be awhile.

Let me know what you find out on your issue if you can!
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:47 PM   #4
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Had a problem with my radar power cord where it screws into the antenna. Apparently I over tightened it and was having intermittent losses of power and radar option on the menu screen. Took a while to figure out that was the problem. It needs to be only snug or power pins don't want to make contact. It was fine for 2 years until the problem developed. All good after I figured out what the problem was.

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Old 02-21-2019, 02:09 PM   #5
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Cardude.....
Can't speak to your radar issue, but I had a similar issue recently with my Garmin 7215 not recognizing the electronic compass (reactor). The boat icon would display 90 degrees to the direction of travel, and when I tried to engage the AP, boat would make a turn to follow that 90 degree heading. Had to manually steer all the way home.
Long story short.....while troubleshooting back at marina, I unscrewed the reactor so that I could turn it enough to see its LED light.
The LED was blinking in correct manner, so I checked my display and found that the boat icon matched the current direction of the reactor.
Figured the moving unit in the reactor must have hung up somehow. I took the boat out next day and all functioned correctly.

Looking back, nothing had changed regarding any metallic objects stored near the reactor. The AP and display worked correctly on the way to our anchorage. The only thing that I can think of is that the windlass wiring runs about 3' from the reactor, and when we were leaving anchorage I had snubbed the anchor chain up pretty tight waiting for it to break free. Maybe induction from the electric cable at high current load caused the reactor to stick. I've downloaded a new software revision and will install it when we go out to open water again.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Had a problem with my radar power cord where it screws into the antenna. Apparently I over tightened it and was having intermittent losses of power and radar option on the menu screen. Took a while to figure out that was the problem. It needs to be only snug or power pins don't want to make contact. It was fine for 2 years until the problem developed. All good after I figured out what the problem was.

Ted


Ok thanks will check this out.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:35 PM   #7
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cardude: Yes I will check also but I can't get out to my boat until late next week... will let you know what i find.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:03 PM   #8
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I have a 7612 and had both problems the OP mentioned. Unplugging and replugging the radar at the radar fixed it. Occasionally the radar and Chartplotter display variation. I have not pinned that one down yet. There are frequent updates which have significantly improved several functions such as the Radar which is great. I love the ability to WiFi to IPad/I phone and now ActiveCaptain is integrated into MFD.
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:36 PM   #9
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Garmin has never in my experience supported older electronics. Not anywhere near as well as Furuno or Si-Tex. I had one Garmin mfd and that was more than enough.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:48 PM   #10
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Make sure you have the latest software in all of your equipment.

Here is a link to the software upgrade page:

https://www8.garmin.com/support/down...ls.jsp?id=8745
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:21 PM   #11
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Got back on the boat Friday, checked the radar again and it was a minor issue. I had to un-bolt the antenna to get a better look at the cables. Strangely I never saw the lights or LED indicators on the bottom as some people talk about but simply rechecking connectors and reinstalling the antenna fixed the problem and radar works fine again.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:42 PM   #12
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Excellent news! When I get back to the boat I will try the same. Thanks for the update.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:24 AM   #13
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Finally got back to the boat. I found a cat 5 cable unplugged inside the boat at the base of the mast. I guess it was to the radar, because it started working!
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:18 PM   #14
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sweet!
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:50 AM   #15
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My motto- Itís always better to be lucky than good.
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:55 AM   #16
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Itís always better to be lucky than good.
I led a Special Forces A-Team - if we could have figured out how to say that it Latin it would have been engraved on our team coin!
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:43 AM   #17
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Garmin chart plotter, autopilot and radar problems

Interesting! Yes I would assume luck plays a huge role in dangerous and fluid special forces-type scenarios. I mean, you try to prepare for everything, but how often do things not go according to plan?

Most successful people underestimate the impact of luck on their lives because it minimizes their ďI did it all myselfĒ success stories. However, less successful folks will claim to be ďdown on their luckĒ. The bottom line, IMO, is luck has a huge impact on everyoneís lives.
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:26 AM   #18
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Garmin has never in my experience supported older electronics. Not anywhere near as well as Furuno or Si-Tex. I had one Garmin mfd and that was more than enough.
When I decided to get an "all new" electronics suite, I was leaning towards Garmin as I saw so many at various boat shows & I loved their plotter displays. I wanted to go with one manufacturer for all the components but my electronics guru said that the Garmin radars were not up to par. Now, this was 2 years ago so much has probably changed in Garmin's radar quality and service. I don't know if it has as I am running all Raymarine and love it!
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